Bangalore-based Farheen tells us how to deal with negative people and difficult situations at work. She also suggests the way out, exclusively in Different Truths.
Suppose you join a company and find yourself lucky to be surrounded by the best of people, policies, working hours, all forms of recreation, and work. You’ll thank your stars every second, isn’t it? But to your dismay, you end up realising that life at work is no longer rosy after a few months only because of some negative people at work, then what you got to do? Thinking? So, what comes to your mind; leaving your job or changing your team? The others would think they might face the situation. Hang on; it is not as easy as you think. When co-workers tend to get into that mode of being “not-so-easy” at the workplace, then workplace may even become a nightmare. You elude people at work, uninterested in work, no friends at the office; stop mingling with your team members, and so on. Then, this content would be of some solace to you.
Rise from the Ashes
There is a path of redemption for you if you thought there isn’t if you’ve landed yourself among the not-so-good co-worker (s). If your job demands to work in a team and you have found yourself in a place where you feel weird because your work is being undermined, then read on.
If you thought that you’ll work with amazing people whom you’ll call them as friends, but now you curse yourself for accepting the offer letter of the company where you’re working, and then hold on — you may be fantasising. There is no place called as a ‘perfect place to work.’ Difficult, not-so-easy, and different co-workers exist everywhere. If you think that you feel uncomfortable, co-worker (s) behavior towards you is objectionable, and you find excuses to avoid your team member (s) and the situation has reached a point where you avoid going to office, or a fleeting thought of leaving your current job is on the verge of becoming an indelible plan, then act on the following:
- Don’t think only about yourself.
- Act as an impartial judge.
- Analyse the verbal/non-verbal communication, situation, behavior because of which you were unhappy at work.
- Write your good and bad qualities and the person with whom you’re facing problems and then understand who is at fault.
- If you’re unable to do a fair analysis, you should write all the points before speaking with your manager, and then make sure that you set up a one-on-one meeting with him/her.
- Also, if you see that your manager discourages you or doesn’t seem to discuss your problem, seek help from Human Resources in your office.
Goliath is Vincible
Are you the one whose work is getting hampered in addition to hurting your feelings? If yes, you’re getting bullied at work. Don’t get bullied at any cost. Don’t assume that if your co-worker’s tenure in the company has been more than yours, then he/she is capable of intimidating, insulting, disparaging, and mocking at you. If the communication between you and your co-worker is within the realms of the behavior prescribed by your company’s guidelines, then enjoy. If not, then start thinking about what is going wrong, with whom, and for what. Keep a log of the incident. Maintain a log of the date, time, details of what happened, who else witnessed the incident, and frequency of such incidents. If others cringe in fear, you don’t waver. You need to make sure that action needs to be taken immediately.
Shun That Negativity
Some people at work always ooze out negativity. Sometimes, they talk about other people at other times they talk about the company policies; they crib and make the others think in a negative tone. They think that except them all the others are given special treatment. They think their managers are partial to them and all the others at work always spread rumors about these negative people.
So, now you must be wondering how you should deal with such negative people. Right? First, try to separate the wheat from the chaff. Understand whether such co-workers have licit reasons for their negativity. If you think they’re correct, ask them if they want you to help them in any way. Make sure you try to give your best advice. You need to also understand that there is a thin line between you acting as a peer and a counselor. You should always restrain yourself from being the counselor. You can direct such co-workers to the HR person, counseling sessions, relevant books, et al. If you find your co-worker’s conversation is always negative, make sure that you ask them to transition to affirmative topics. Negative people surely don’t want anything from you, so you shouldn’t get affected by their complaints. You are just a target. They want you to empathize with them, their situation, and their complaints.
Conquer that Territory
If you are among a few co-workers who discourage you, disparage you, mock at you, then obviously, you must be feeling hostile. For all the known reasons, you must not be feeling to have an encounter with them during meetings, events, or in a group. The only thing that keeps your mind occupied is that what if you are insulted in front of people. Don’t run away from a face-off because if you try to evade such people often, then you are ruining your health, relationships at work, attitude, and even your projects. The ideal situation would be to make a list of topics that you would want your co-worker to know. Make sure to break the ice and discuss things out and conquer that fear because of which you don’t want to enter the territory — their cubicles, lunch areas, meeting rooms, hangout place, and so on.
Never leave a company because of people because you might come across ‘not-so-easy’ people anywhere. There is no dearth of such people and if you thought the workplace is a safe zone, you realised it’s not. The deal is to learn the trick in dealing with such people. Believe me, it’s not thaumaturgy. If you really want to bring in a positive change at work, try out some of the preceding tricks.
Photos from the internet.
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